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Full Version: Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 38 Years Receives $21 million dollars
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Simi Valley reached a $21-million settlement with a man who spent more than 38 years wrongfully incarcerated in the brutal 1978 murders of a woman and her 4-year-old son, officials said.
Craig Coley, 71, was released from prison in 2017 after he was pardoned by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who said that DNA evidence and a painstaking re-investigation of the Simi Valley murders proved his innocence.
The city said Saturday that the agreement would mitigate long, costly and unnecessary legal proceedings. Simi Valley will be on the hook for roughly $4.9 million of the settlement, while the rest is expected to be paid by insurance and other sources, officials said.
“While no amount of money can make up for what happened to Mr. Coley, settling this case is the right thing to do for Mr. Coley and our community,” City Manager Eric Levitt said in a statement. “The monetary cost of going to trial would be astronomical and it would be irresponsible for us to move forward in that direction.”
The state approved a separate, much smaller payout last year. Brown approved a $1.95-million payment for Coley — $140 for each day he was wrongfully behind bars — that marked the largest payout by the state’s Victim Compensation Board for an erroneous conviction.
The victims were discovered by a relative who grew concerned when Rhonda Wicht didn’t show up for a family get-together. The 24-year-old had been strangled with an 11-foot macrame rope, her son, Donald, smothered in his bed.

Coley, a Vietnam War veteran who was going through a breakup with Wicht, was held for questioning that day and ultimately charged with the two murders. He did not have a prior criminal record.
A key witness against Coley was Wicht’s next-door neighbor, who said she heard banging noises and saw Coley’s truck parked outside the apartment complex the morning of the murders. She testified that someone with medium-length hair drove it away.
Another neighbor who lived downstairs told jurors that he heard noises from Wicht’s apartment at 5:30 a.m.
At Coley’s first trial, jurors spent four weeks deliberating before announcing they were deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of guilt. A second jury convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder in 1980, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Cite: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m...story.html

Craig Coley, 71, was released from prison in 2017 after he was pardoned by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who said that DNA evidence and a painstaking re-investigation of the Simi Valley murders proved his innocence.
The city said Saturday that the agreement would mitigate long, costly and unnecessary legal proceedings. Simi Valley will be on the hook for roughly $4.9 million of the settlement, while the rest is expected to be paid by insurance and other sources, officials said.

Source: https://pressfrom.info/us/news/crime/-24...ement.html

Man that is terrible, I would want my time back, never mind the money. The guy is 71 years old now, i hope he has time to spend the $21 million.

Full Throttle

Terrible situation, how many more just like him have been wrongfully convicted?
I know @Quiet Storm I'm pretty sure it happens all the time, but man, to waste all those years in there and get out when you are 71, well thats not much time left to enjoy life I don't think. At least he got out, but the justice system needs to do better investigating into things.

Full Throttle

(02-24-2019, 08:42 AM)sivil Wrote: [ -> ]I know @Quiet Storm I'm pretty sure it happens all the time, but man, to waste all those years in there and get out when you are 71, well thats not much time left to enjoy life I don't think.  At least he got out, but the justice system needs to do better investigating into things.

Agreed Heartflowers